Full-Time RVers Share 10 Ways to Make Travel Days Easier

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We have lived in an RV for over 8 years and traveled thousands of miles across North America. Over our hundreds of RV travel days, we have learned how to make RV road trips easier, safer, and fun. Here are our top 10 RV travel day tricks and tips.

RV Travel Day Tips

Pay Attention to Weather Forecasts

Stormy sky seen though windshield

Many of the worst RV accidents we have seen or read about were due partly to weather conditions, such as high winds or heavy rains. Always check the forecast before a travel day and stay off the road if the conditions are not ideal.

In the early days of our RV life, we traveled when scheduled regardless of the conditions. However, we quickly learned the stress of traveling in bad weather is never worth the time saved.

We avoid travel if wind speeds are predicted to reach 30mph or more. We also never hesitate to pull over when we encounter heavy rain or other weather that limits visibility. Use RV apps, such as TruckerPath or Allstays, to find the closest place to park your RV during a storm.

Use a Checklist

Woman looking at RV travel checklist

We’ve packed up our RV and prepared it for travel hundreds of times. We still use a checklist every time! There are many things to secure, and having a checklist helps us remember everything.

After a few years on the road, we became careless about using our checklist. During this time, we had several travel day snafus (mostly things getting broken inside the RV during travel). We went back to using the list, and haven’t had any issues since.

Download our free, printable checklists to use on RV travel days.

Use an RV-Friendly GPS

Low clearance covered bridge

Do not use Google or Apple Maps to navigate when you are driving or towing an RV. Instead, use an RV-friendly GPS (we have an RV Life PRO membership and use the GPS in their app).

An RV-friendly GPS will ask for your RV’s height to ensure you do not encounter low-clearance bridges. They should also direct you away from steep mountain passes and propane-restricted tunnels.

We learned this lesson the hard way. In our first year on the road, we followed a Google Maps suggested detour to avoid heavy traffic on the interstate in Georgia. We ended up on a 2-lane highway that ran parallel to the interstate.

Everything was fine for the first 20 miles until we came upon a warning for a low-clearance bridge. Our fifth wheel would not fit under the 11-foot bridge and there was nowhere to turn around easily.

Fortunately, there was enough shoulder on the road so we could very slowly turn around, backtrack to the interstate, and sit in the traffic we were trying to avoid. An RV GPS would have prevented this epic fail!

Pack Food

woman making wraps for RV travel.

One way to simplify travel days is to make your food ahead of time and pack it for your trip. Having food already packed means you can stop at any fuel station, instead of needing to find parking at restaurants.

Since we are full-time RVers, packing travel-day food is essential to maintaining a healthy diet. It was challenging to find parking for an RV at most restaurants, so we usually purchased fast food at truck stops before we started bringing prepared meals and snacks.

Our go-to travel day meal is a veggie wrap, filled with hummus, beans, peppers, avocado, greens, and tomatoes. Our wraps are healthy and completely mess-free to eat on the go. We usually also pack, nuts, apples, and bananas for snacks.

Drive Slow

Tire speed rating

There are several reasons to go slow when towing or driving an RV. Going slow is safer and more fuel-efficient.

Plus many motorhome and travel trailer tires aren’t designed for high-speed driving. Before hitting the road, check your RV tires for the speed rating. The speed rating is usually the last letter in the size code on the tire’s sidewall. See the table below for maximum speeds by rating.

Speed RatingMax Speed (mph)
Maximum speed for RV tires by rating

Safe Following Distance

View through windshield of bison causing a traffic jam.

Even if you drive slowly and safely, chances are not everyone around you will. Other drivers are the reason it is important to learn and adhere to the safe following distance.

The safe following distance ensures sufficient time to brake if the car in front of you stops or slows down suddenly. The general rule of thumb is to allow 1 second of following distance for every 10 feet of vehicle length.

For example, a 20-foot truck pulling a 30-foot trailer should allow a minimum of 5 seconds following distance. To calculate your seconds distance, pick a landmark and count the seconds between the car in front of you and your RV reaching it.

Monitor Tire Pressure

De-winterize RV tires

Low tire pressure may indicate an issue with your tires and can lead to accidents. It’s super important for RV travelers to monitor the tire pressure on their RV and/or tow vehicle.

For peace of mind, install a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that constantly tracks tire pressure and temperature. Also, travel with a portable air compressor, so you always have a way to adjust the pressure when needed.

Roadside Assistance and an Emergency Kit are Musts

Roadside emergency kit.

A roadside assistance plan is necessary to help you in case of significant damage to your RV. Roadside assistance plans may be obtained through your insurance, extended warranty, or a roadside assistance company.

All RVers should also carry a roadside emergency kit for smaller issues or in case they cannot contact roadside assistance. You can purchase pre-made roadside emergency kits with a first aid kit, tow rope, reflective warning triangles, work gloves, and more.

Keep (a little) Water in the Fresh Tank

Filling fresh water

One of the best perks of RV travel is never having to use a public bathroom on your road trip. To make sure you don’t clog your black tank during travel, put a little water in the bottom of the black tank before travel.

Also partially fill up the fresh water tank, so there is water for flushing the toilet and washing hands. We don’t completely fill the fresh water tank for travel because we don’t want to travel with the extra weight.

Of course, if you are transporting the RV to storage. You don’t want to put any water in the tanks or use the bathroom once the holding tanks have been thoroughly cleaned.

Make it Fun

Couple and cat on RV road trip

Finally, RV travel days should be fun. Whether you are traveling solo or with a large family, try to use your time on the road to relax and connect. We like to listen to podcasts that teach us new things and discuss future travel plans during our drives.

See our guide to making road trips fun for more ideas to entertain kids and adults on travel days.

Happy Camping

Thanks for reading our RV travel day tips and tricks. Also, check out our full list of RV tips for beginners for tricks to use on the road and at the campground.

Happy Camping!

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